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Father of abducted Amish girls feels sorrow for suspects

Evidence was taken from the home of suspected abductors.

Melanie Kimbler-Lago/Watertown Daily Times/Associated Press

Evidence was taken from the home of suspected abductors.

OSWEGATCHIE, N.Y. — The father of two Amish girls abducted in northern New York last week said he feels sorry for the two people that authorities say kidnapped and sexually abused his daughters.

The parents of the 7- and 12-year-old sisters spoke to a reporter from the Johnson Newspapers group at their home in Oswegatchie on Sunday. ‘‘It’s sad,’’ the 44-year-old father said. ‘‘They must have ruined their whole life.’’

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Stephen Howells Jr. and Nicole Vaisey have been charged with kidnapping with the intent to physically or sexually abuse the girls.

The Associated Press is not naming the family members because it generally does not identify victims of sexual abuse.

The sisters were abducted Wednesday from a farm stand in front of the family’s home near the Canadian border. They were set free about 24 hours later and turned up safe at the door of a house 15 miles from where they were taken.

Howells and Vaisey were arrested Friday. Authorities said the couple sexually abused the girls before letting them go.

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